‘I felt saturated’: John Travolta says grieving for wife made worse by friends

Apr 22, 2021
John Travolta and Kelly Preston tied the knot in 1991. Source: Getty

It’s been almost one year since John Travolta’s wife Kelly Preston died following a two-year private battle with breast cancer, and the 67-year-old actor has now opened up about his grief over losing the love of his life, and his struggle to deal with her death while caring for everyone else around him.

Travolta, who had already suffered through the death of his son Jett in 2009, told Esquire Spain he was so overwhelmed with everyone else’s grief when Preston died that he didn’t have the space he needed to mourn her.

“The most important thing you can do to help another when they are in mourning is to allow them to live it and not complicate it with yours,” he told the magazine.

“Otherwise, it will be two boats plummeting to the bottom. That is my experience. Because even though it’s great to have company, sometimes it becomes like you’re helping them, rather than putting yourself to work overcoming feelings of loss and grief.”

Travolta went on to say that following his wife’s death a lot of people tried to comfort him, but it didn’t help, saying, “I felt so saturated with everyone’s sadness that I didn’t know what to do”.

“The first thing you should do when you experience grief is to go to a place where you can mourn, without any interference. If I die tomorrow, the last thing I want to see is that everyone around is sunk.”

The actor added his main focus now is spending time with his two children, Ella, 21, and Ben, 10, and helping them forge their own paths forward.

“I will ensure the future of my children, help them with what they want to do with their lives,” he said. “It is what I do with Ella now with her films and teaching her to work in the profession. Ben is barely 10 years old. I want to help him evolve because he has his whole life ahead of him.”

Preston passed away at the age of 57 in July, 2020. At the time, Travolta shared a poignant tribute to his wife and said her love will always be remembered.

“She fought a courageous fight with the love and support of so many,” he said. “Kelly’s love and life will always be remembered. I will be taking some time to be there for my children who have lost their mother, so forgive me in advance if you don’t hear from us for a while. But please know that I will feel your outpouring of love in the weeks and months ahead as we heal. All my love.”

Travolta and Preston married in 1991, two years after they met at a screen test for their movie The Experts. The couple’s son eldest son Jett, died in 2009 when he was just 16 years old. He had  Kawasaki disease and had suffered seizures since he was two years old.

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Have you dealt with this type of grief before? How did you cope?

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